There's more to Brandi Williams than you'd imagine. The American television host and poker champ has a long-standing association with animal welfare causes. In fact, she rescue animals, campaigns via her television appearances for animal welfare and even gives talks on behalf of various animal welfare groups. You may recognise Brandi from her various appearances on the small screen, including hosting her own show on The Outdoor Channel and her various reporting roles on E! and Fox. Brandi took time out from her hectic schedule to speak to K9 Magazine about her current brood of dogs.
Bella, the little starlet, she's such a quick learner and loves learning new tricks. I've just taught her how to dance – she stands on her hind legs, gives you her paw and will turnaround. All of my dogs sit and know the basics.
Tell us about your dogs. Names, breeds, ages and everything about them I have four babies, Pierre, Paris, Bella and Bitit - all rescues. Pierre is 6 months old and I rescued him from a puppy mill. Paris, well I actually found her in a cardboard box with her brothers and I took her in as a playmate for Pierre. I took Bella in after I fell in love with her while volunteering at a local shelter and Bitit, well she was in a really bad animal abuse situation and had had some issues to work through but she's a special little Chihuahua. When did your interest in pets being? I've had animals all my life, when I was young we always had family pets and I used to love playing and walking our dogs. But since I moved to the East Coast I've learned so much. After stopping by a local animal shelter one day and seeing the terrible situation they were in and couldn't help but get involved. I talked to the officer there and they were struggling, even just for the basics like blankets, cleaning materials and I just couldn't get it out of my head. So I went home and cleared my cupboards out, bought cleaning supplies and dropped it in. They showed me around all the dogs there and after that I asked friends and family for supplies and took things in weekly. I've done as much as I could since that point from holding charity events to taking photos and notes of the dogs looking for new homes and putting them on my blog, just to do what I can to help the dogs find new homes. I even got involved in creating a segment on my news channel called 'Give Pets A Chance' and that's been amazing at finding more homes for the pets featured. They really do go like hot cakes after they've been on and it's just a great way to educate. I really do believe the dogs know they're being given a second chance, dogs are so intuitive. You're a reporter for Hollywood 411 which must be really great and varied from day to day, what do you love most about what you do? Oh I love my job, I feel so fortunate. It's a hard business to get into and I feel so lucky that fate brought me here. One day this guy came up to me and said, 'Hey I'm a TV producer' and gave me a card, to be honest I thought it was some kind of a line, but he really was. I called a few days later and a few weeks later after a crash course, I was an entertainment presenter! I really do believe in fate, I was very close to my grandfather and he always said he wanted to live long enough to see me graduate and be on TV. And what's not to love about it, I get to visit TV and movie sets, sit down one on one with fabulous actors and I love meeting people and hearing their stories. Reality shows seem to be growing and growing in Hollywood and across the globe, do you think the term 'celebrity' has changed over the years? It's huge these days isn't it? I think its affected a lot of people in the business, the people who become stars from these reality TV shows then go on to host TV shows and you think 'what about the people who trained for that job' and I think actors are in the same boat in all honesty. Reality shows are an easy way to open doors and you can't blame people for looking for an opening, I don't want to take anything away from them, but some days it does feel like they are taking over! Do you have a motto you live your life by? Oh so many, I love quotes. I think my favourite just now is that you 'can't climb a ladder with your hands in your pockets'. And you've recently joined with Pilgrim Productions to host and executive produce your own show directed towards saving the lives of shelter animals, how's that going? We've signed contracts and been pitching ideas to networks, I'm really excited about it though. As you can tell I'm hugely passionate about helping animals, educating and showcasing the animals in rescues to help them find new homes. It's a makeover show for rescues – we'll go into the shelters, see what they need and upgrade the facilities for the animals, especially the 'lifers'. If you were to swap roles with one of your dogs for a day, how do you think they'd cope being you and what would you most love about being them? I think I'd choose to swap lives with Bella, she's a Pug cross Chihuahua and she just has THE life! I mean I don't have favourites between my dogs but she gets so much attention because she's so gorgeous. She's already been in two commercials and has a great personality – she's like my superstar child! I think I actually treat all of my dogs like my children, they've each had a pretty tricky start in life so things to adjust to, if I had a big yard I'd definitely have more. For this question, we ask our celebs to match up the following people’s personality to a breed of dog, for example, Winston Churchill = Bulldog or J.Lo = Afghan Hound, Frank Bruno = Boxer etc. Ryan Seacrest – I think he'd be a Pomeranian. I know the breed really well and they're a very delicate breed. I also know Ryan and I think he's got the same sort of delicate personality. Drew Barrymore – I think she'd be a Yorkie. I've interviewed her several times and she's sweet and timid, but also so sassy if you cross her path. She's got that edge just like a Yorkie. Describe the last time you... Trained your dogs something new... Bella, the little starlet, she's such a quick learner and loves learning new tricks. I've just taught her how to dance – she stands on her hind legs, gives you her paw and will turnaround. All of my dogs sit and know the basics. Laughed out loud... My dogs make me laugh every day and I love them for it. I really do feel they just make my day better by what they do and bring to my life. Tell us something not many people know about you. Well most people probably don't know I competed in salsa dancing! As I said before my grandfather was a huge influence in my life and his favourite pass time was ballroom dancing which inspired me to get involved in dancing. I'd love to take part in 'Dancing With The Stars', it's one reality show I'm glued to, partly because of the sentimentality but also because of the talent involved. My grandma is a big fan of the show aswell in honour of my grandpa. If you had the choice to arrange a dinner party taking three people (choosing from any era, past or present), who would you choose? Oh gosh, I'd love to have Brad Paisley there. He's a country western singer and very popular – I just adore him. Hopefully he'd bring his guitar to serenade us. I'd probably also want to bring Marilyn Monroe – gosh, just because she's so iconic! I'd just have so many questions for her and would love her to dress me and do my hair to give me an old Hollywood glamour look. And finally I'd probably ask Elvis Presley. A few years ago I hosted an Elvis special in Las Vegas and I think he was such an intriguing man. If you could sum it up, what do you think is the best thing about being a dog owner? They just add so much to my life and I really feel I have a better life because they're in it. I love them to death. Finish the following sentence, my dogs are...wonderful! They're my best friends. And finally, this is always a tough question and often requires a fair degree of thinking time but….If your dog(s) had the ability to speak and answer one question and one question only, what would you ask them and what do you think that they would say? I'd want to know if I'm a good mom and if I'm doing everything right. I'd hope they'd say yes, they're very spoiled so I hope so! Many Thanks Brandi! Brandi Williams Was Speaking With Kim O'Meara